Saturday, January 21, 2006

Comprehension has its limits

The most interesting thing about teaching English as a second language is that most of my students actually know a lot about grammar stuff because most of them have been studying English for up to ten years. But their comprehension isn't always the best.

The other day, Deadly was doing a listening exercise where they had to listen to a song and complete the gaps in the lyrics that he gave them. One of the lines in the song was "oooh baby, you light my soul on fire". The had great difficulty getting this until it dawned on Deadly that they thought that the song was for singing to an actual baby. So he had to try to get them to understand what "oooh baby" meant in the context of the song.

He did a pretty good job, and in order to make sure that all the students were on the same page, he asked what we call concept checking questions. "So Yeoung, would I say oooh baby to you?". "Yes", says Yeoung. "No, no, no", says Deadly. I would not say oooh baby to you, I would say it to my wife, but I would not say it to you".

I still don't think poor Yeoung really understood.


Blogger MC Etcher said...

Poor Yeoung. How did Deadly come by his name?

5:28 pm  
Blogger Laziest Girl said...

"Deadly" as in excellent, highly skilled, very talented and always on target. It's a silly word really - it used to be the highest form of praise amongst "the kids" back in the late 80's.

So it's kind of a joke, but kind of not. He's the best teacher out of the twelve of us doing the course - natural talent is a curse. We all admire him a great deal so we take the piss.

8:25 pm  
Blogger MC Etcher said...

Aha, I see! Thanks.

3:47 am  

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